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a drive. over the past several weeks this country has experienced what it's like being in a car with mitt romney. we've felt the swerves, the sudden shifts, the abrupt stops and reverses, the reckless changes of lanes, the slipping and the sliding. there's more road ahead, of course, including three debates, but we're getting a sense that this guy doesn't know exactly where he's going or even on how to drive this car. and the big question is, why is he having such a tough time? why does he seem, dare we say it, confused? could it be because he doesn't know where he's trying to take us? because he doesn't know where he wants to go? as david axelrod said, campaigns are like an mri for the soul, whoever you are, eventually people find out. joining me now are the two men
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who wrote the book that resulted in a sweep of four emmys this week, "game change" authors john heilemann of "new york magazine" and mark halperin of "time." gentlemen, thank you for joining us. right now never has mitt romney's ability to shape shift been more on display than yesterday. it involved health care reform, the issue he can't decide whether to run from or embrace, so he did both in the same day. in an interview with nbc's ron allen, romney said his health care plan up in massachusetts, the one that the obama plan is modeled after, shows his compassion. let's listen. >> throughout this campaign as well we've talked about my record in massachusetts. don't forget, i got everybody in my state insured, 100% of the kids in our state have health insurance. i don't think there's anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record. >> well, shortly after that, very shortly, a matter of two hours or so, romney spoke before
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a toledo, ohio, crowd to denounce obama's affordable care act which is based on his massachusetts plan. let's listen. >> i will repeal obama care and replace it with real health care reform. obama care is really exhibit number one of the president's political philosophy, and that is that government knows better than people how to run their lives. >> well, there you have it. i think -- i don't know what you can say. he's talking to ron allen, a straight news reporter. this is the third episode here in a matter of hours. at a univision forum last week, romney admitted he'd take credit for obama care except during the primaries. >> i have experience in health care reform. now and then the president says i'm the grandfather of obama care. i don't think he meant that as a compliment, but i'll take it. this was during my primary. we thought it might not be helpful. >> well, there you have it, mark, and then john. speaking to a straight news reporter for nbc, ron allen, he says something that's supportive of what he did in massachusetts. then before a partisan crowd, he takes it back and lashes out at obama care. and then before a group he assumes to be a bit more
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liberal, he goes back in favor of it again saying, i take that not as a compliment, but i'll accept it anyway. and there you go, what is this guy? he's like a bobble head. >> well, i've not been as dubious about the notion of you could be for a certain type of policy at the state level but not think it's a good idea for washington to do it, but when you extend the rhetoric to the morality of covering all children and the morality of universal health care, then i think it's a harder case to make, and, you know, governor romney is getting a lot of criticism in the press, some even on this channel. i separate the two types of criticism. the kind you're talking about comes not just from journalists or pundits but almost any republican we know who is not on mitt romney's payroll will tell you that that is just not the kind of inconsistency that he can afford at this point given
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the deficits he faces. >> your thoughts, john. >> well, look, chris, i just think he's in an untenable position, and he has been all along. the bottom line on mitt romney is he's proud of his massachusetts health care law. there's part of him that wants to defend it, there's part of him that's always wanted to defend it, and he found himself running in a republican primary where he couldn't defend it as forthrightly as i think what his heart would have wanted to do. so he twisted himself up in a lot of knots. i think there's some theoretical way in which you could make a federalist argument, but he hasn't made that argument consistently either. he should have stood up and said the individual mandate is a conservative policy. it was invented at the heritage foundation and embraced by conservatives as recently as a decade ago. he could have made the argument for health care and said that's what the conservative position was. he didn't have the guts to do that. he's ended up in this bizarre position where he's had to pirouette on this crazy tightrope where he says my law is great, but the federal law, which the core element of which is the individual mandate, is bad. it's not intellectually tenable, and it's politically ridiculous.
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>> here he is doing it again on the tax issue. he pushed the idea that the president raised taxes. here he tries to make the point using his interpretation of the supreme court ruling on obama care. >> by the way, the president has now raised taxes on the middle class as so determined by the supreme court. >> and then this week romney mangles his message by saying obama didn't raise taxes in his first term but might in his second term. >> he's got one new idea. i admit he has one thing he did not do in his first four years he said he's going to do in the next four years which is raise taxes. >> which is it, mark? did he or didn't he or is he about to and hasn't yet? >> i will probably have a more charitable interpretation. >> your interpretation is the one we want. >> my sense is he was talking about raising marginal tax rates
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rather than raising any taxes. >> that's charitable, you're right. >> i will say a version of what i said before. he's not at the point where he can afford either to create distractions through loose rhetoric or to have a muddled message that doesn't give people a sense of where his heart is, as you said at the beginning. i'm just amazed that at this stage -- he's been a candidate for five years now -- that he's still just being that sloppy in a way that distracts from trying to drive a message that could help him make up the gaps he has now. >> jack kennedy once said about dick nixon, i feel sorry for the guy because he doesn't know which dick nixon to be on any particular day. he wants the support of the tea party crowd. he needs them, john and mark, but he would never be a tea party person. he wouldn't show up at a yahoo kind of politics we don't like government. he's not been a life long foreign policy hawk, but he
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wants the support of the neocon community out there. he wants people who are hawkish. he's not a member of the religious right. he doesn't run around liberty university or hang around with jerry falwell, but he wants their support. he's not really a ryan republican ideologue conviction politician, but he put him on the ticket. isn't that the fundamental problem with the guy? he wants to date these people through the election. he wants their support, but he doesn't want to be one of them. he doesn't want to marry them. is that true? >> yes. look, chris, i think he's a person who is fundamentally ill suited to being the republican nominee given what the republican party currently is. and you could say that on a bunch of different levels. it's an evangelical party and he's a mormon. it's a southern and western -- southern and western party, he's a northeasterner. it's a populist party. he's more or less an establishmentarian. he wanted to say barack obama has failed as an economic steward, and i'm a business guy and so i know how to create jobs. and as soon as that fell away,
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as soon as people started to think that the economy was doing better, as soon as people started to think that this was about policies for the future and not just about a referendum on the past, he's found himself adrift in terms of what the message is he wants to hue to and he does feel as though this is a base election and he needs to stir up the republican base, and he doesn't have the kind of natural connection to that base that some of his -- many other people in the party, some of the people he ran against and some of whom he didn't run against, have. >> is that true, mark, that the only requirement to run for the republican -- to be the republican nominee this year looked like several months back just not be obama, just be a republican, and it's gotten tougher because somehow, maybe because of the clinton speech in charlotte or what economic numbers slightly changing perhaps, you have to make a bigger case than i'm just not obama. >> well, i think that the case which they did at the republican convention in what turned out to be a stray remark, was to think what makes you think the next four years will be better for you than the first four years of an obama presidency? i think that the economy -- you can look at some macrostatistics and say things are better in some ways, but i think there are
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still people who have a lot of doubt about what's going to happen next. talk to anybody who is doing focus groups now and ask people in groups, what does the president plan to do in another four years? people don't know. and so mitt romney still has an opportunity, i think, to not only say -- >> you can say the same about mitt romney. >> you could, you could, but the president has got a record of four years that a lot of americans aren't happy with. he's not coming close to driving that message. he's still doing one event a day. still more likely to do a bad television interview that says nothing or creates a negative story or has some old video pop out. this is not left wing pundits or reporters who don't like mitt romney. this is what every republican i talk to is saying, scratching their head saying how can he continue to waste another day? i'm looking at my calendar every day, when is he going to win a single news cycle? >> i would argue more positive for obama and say he's doubled the stock market, he's taken the unemployment rate from double digits down to eight. if he does that again, he'll take it down to six. if you want to say i'll take it down two or three points further, just stay on that continuum. let's take a look at this. a new obama campaign ad just put
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out a powerful ad airing in swing states that uses romney's own words against him. let's listen to this. >> there are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. who are dependent upon government, who believe that they're victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they're entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it and they will vote for this president no matter what. and so my job is not to worry about those people. i will never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. >> what do you think of that ad, guys? you first, mark. >> you know, when the video first came out of governor romney talking, i wasn't sure if it would have a long shelf life, but it has a lot of resonance with voters, certainly has a lot of resonance with the chattering class, and that ad is subtle, but it draws -- they clearly think it's going to draw on the feelings that a lot of voters have and an awareness that a lot of voters have and particularly on a day when governor romney is trying to drive the message
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about veterans and support for the military. to feature some people from the military in that spot, this is going to be a thing they come back to again and again and i'll say i don't think governor romney has dealt with it effectively. you can't go out and assert that you care about people. you've got to do something i think that shows people in an emotional and concrete and resonant way and he's not solved that yet amongst the problems he still has to solve. >> yeah. your thoughts, john? what i like about it is it shows poverty and working poor, the working poor phenomenon in this country where you work very hard but don't make enough to live above the poverty level, is not an inner city situation alone. it creates a larger notion of another america out there that's much more diverse and much more realistic, i think. your thoughts, john. >> chris, i agree with that. i will also say there's nothing more powerful than a negative ad that uses nothing but the words from the person who -- out of the mouth of the person who the
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ad is attacking. you know, you think about the way that tina fey set up sarah palin on "saturday night live" four years ago by literally saying the things that she said in an interview with katie couric. those were her words. you didn't have to write a script. in this same case the 47% thing i think is devastating. and mark talked about the people -- we talk to people all the time who are doing focus groups on the republican side and democratic side. this is cutting with voters. voters think there's something that's toxic here and there's a reason why this is the third ad the obama campaign has put up on this 47% thing. they're putting up those ads because they're working and this ad in particular i think because it's in mitt romney's own voice is just a sign of exactly how much trouble that videotape continues to cause him in places where it matters. >> and, john and mark, i also think it counts when he makes references, not the biggest thing in the world but telling when he says we're not going to let people just die in their apartments, people that don't have health insurance. we're going to pick them up and get them to the hospital. the idea that everybody who is poor lives in some urban apartment when there's people all across the area who aren't covered by health insurance today even though they're working 40 hours a week. these are little things that just inject a certain narrow view of what the problem is that isn't really complete at all.
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thank you mark and john. coming up, how do you spot a campaign in trouble? when you hear reporters -- actually supporters say it's still early or you should see our internal polling. well, you can bet in those cases the candidate is probably headed for defeat. right now the gop is trotting out the granddaddy of all excuses, the polls are wrong. all of them. we're going to talk about the self-delusion of republicans popping up right now. also, breaking up is hard to do. the republican party broke up with missouri's todd akin after his legitimate rape comments, but still within striking distance of claire mccaskill. the gop may have decided it's better to live with the author of legitimate rape than to have the democrats retain control of the senate. and which republican would democrats most like to pick off in november? here are a few. michele bachmann, joe walsh, allen west. with polls moving their way, democrats are daring to dream of
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delivering them from evil. finally, let me finish tonight with my favorite teachers wife and how much she wants to vote and how the new pennsylvania voter photo law is stopping her from voting. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ] they can be enlightening. hey, bro. or engaging. conversations help us learn and grow. at wells fargo, we believe you can never underestimate the power of a conversation. it's this exchange of ideas that helps you move ahead with confidence. so when the conversation turns to your financial goals... turn to us. if you need anything else, let me know. [ female announcer ] wells fargo. together we'll go far. there's natural gas under my town. it's a game changer. ♪ it means cleaner, cheaper american-made energy. but we've got to be careful how we get it. design the wells to be safe. thousands of jobs. use the most advanced technology to protect our water.
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back to "hardball."
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what do you do when your candidate is trailing in the polls? well, you blame the pollsters. over the past several days right wing radio and television pundits have gone wild with the new republican talking thought, the polls are wrong. pay no attention to what you're seeing or what you're hearing, that obama is up. according to some on fox and elsewhere, the pollsters are all in the president's back pocket and they can't be trusted, including fox's polls apparently. here is dick morris staggering even sean hannity on fox news this week. >> as he's at the moment in a very strong position. i believe if the election were held today, romney would win by four or five points. i believe he would carry florida, ohio, virginia. i believe he would carry nevada. i believe he would carry pennsylvania. >> oh, come on. >> pennsylvania, and i believe he would be competitive in michigan. people need to understand that the polling this year is the worst it's ever been because this is the first election where if i tell you who is going to vote, i can tell you how they're going to vote. the models these folks are using
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are crazy. they assume a democratic edge of six or seven points. >> we're all wrong in this business, we make mistakes. he's the only guy i know who knows he's wrong when he says this stuff, dick morris. in the eyes of republicans, it's that the polls are conspiring to bring him down. michael tomasky, special correspondent for "newsweek," and ron reagan is an msnbc political analyst and author of "my father at 100." ron, you have to start with you. you're a sympathetic voice when it comes to common sense, and why would anybody ever, ever, ever no mat mother pays them ever no matter ever listen to what dick morris has to say about anything, especially when he says all the polls, including fox's own polls, are not to be trusted because he doesn't like the numbers, he doesn't like what
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they're saying this week. >> it's true that you sometimes imagine that back in the republican green room there's this giant crack pipe that they're all hitting on constantly, hitting it hard, but, you know, listen -- >> it's time to say don't bogart that, morris, because i think he's been on that pipe longer than most. just a thought. >> he bought the pipe i think and brought it into the room. but let's not give them too much credit here. i mean, yes, it's true -- >> i'm not -- >> -- the rank and file -- no, no. the rank and file actually believes some of this nonsense. they believe that evolution didn't happen, global warm something a hoax obama is a kenyan, but people like dick morris and sean hannity, they know better than that, and there's a method to their
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madness. they're not delusional, they're dishonest. they're not crazy, they're craven. >> i hate to say it, ron, but i believe that sean hannity is as smart as me or anybody else but he says stuff on the air that throws red meat out for that audience to eat up. he can't be believing this stuff. >> very briefly, what they're trying to do here and accomplish here is to say in advance if president obama wins this election, it's because the pollsters suppressed the republican vote, it's, therefore, an illegitimate election, he's not really president. they're setting the table for that. >> okay. let me go to mike tomasky. you're nonpartisan. i don't know what your politics are. it seems to me they could say something else. they could say this week we're behind two or three, within the margin of error but these debates are going to be important. there's a lot of different ways to interpret these numbers than to deny them. >> but denial is what they do, and work up their base is what they do, chris. that's how -- they define their movement in large part by their
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enemies. >> so the couple on the cage here? >> they are but i'm not entirely sure that hannity doesn't believe some of this stuff himself. you know -- >> you have a low estimate of his iq. i have a higher estimate. your thoughts, but go ahead. >> look, pollsters aren't going to stack the deck on who is -- what they're complaining about is the sampling, how many democrats are in this poll and how many republicans are in this poll and it is true, they have one little smidgeon of a point. it is true a lot of these polls have been showing more democrats than republicans, but this is the misunderstanding or the -- >> more democrats than republicans exist or what? >> pollsters ask people to take their poll -- let me back up -- >> but isn't the latest polling showing there is lower republican i.d. in the last six months? there's a reduction in the number of people who say i'm a republican? >> that's what it's showing. these conservatives are trying to say it's intentional, a setup by "the new york times" and all these other pollsters, but that's nonsense. >> where is this meeting supposed to happen where all the pollsters get together? don't they compete with each other to prove they're right? this is something, ron, that's very important. poll something like rating services, like we are all governed here by. they get paid to be right. they get paid by sponsors at local tv affiliates like abc in boston or whatever, any local
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station down here, right? wrc down here, they pay pollsters to be right. why would you have pollsters who were being paid by somebody to be wrong? they have clients. >> it's a mystery, but we do know that some polling outfits tend to favor republicans and some tend to favor democrats. rasmussen, for instance, which is a polling outfit that typically has romney with higher numbers than say ppp or some of the others -- >> that's why we call it the outlier. >> that's right. but that's the one the republicans cite all the time. they say the rasmussen poll has us dead even and the other half a dozen or dozen polls, they don't count. >> we're going underwater. now to your point, rush limbaugh warned this week that pollsters are conspiring -- i can't do the voice. conspireing to suppress republican voters. let's hear his indignation. here is the underwater wall russ himself, rush limbaugh. >> they are designed to do exactly what i have warned you to be vigilant about, and that is to depress you and suppress your vote. these two polls today are designed to convince everybody that election is over.
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there could be a lot of reasons for this, voter suppression, voter depression set up the possibility of allegations of voter fraud. >> speaking of depression, where did you get that shirt? it looks like the devil's idea of an nfl ref's uniform. mike tomasky, why is he doing this? the pollsters are getting you, but i'm for you. >> it's all about the enemies. it starts with the liberal media. and now it extend to the pollsters. the pollsters are supposedly rigging these things. in fact, what the voter i.d. in those polls is showing, it's showing that the republican party, that fewer and fewer people who are being called by these polls want to call themselves -- >> what happened there in six months to make them not do that? what's real? i think it's the republican house -- >> a bad candidate, the republican house, a party that's gone way off into the right, into la la land, and a bad
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convention versus a good democratic convention and this video. >> middle of the road and slightly conservative people i grew up with in the suburbs around philadelphia and chicago and new york, they have seen that party flipping over to the crazy side. thank you, michael, and i think the president has been good at positioning himself much closer to the center than they'd like, the other party. ron reagan, you're great. i love your sense of humor. you're great. >> thanks. >> that's why i said it, people, you're great. in your case it's true. up next, george w. bush turns up in an embarrassing place for mitt romney. wait until you catch this. find out where he's speaking like right before the election day, george w., just to bring the house down. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ mother ] you can't leave the table
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oh, hey alex. just picking up some, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. back to "hardball." there are a few things the romney campaign doesn't want to talk about. his comments about the 47% who he said on that tape will never take responsibility for their
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lives, tax returns, investments in the cayman islands. well, we're all seeing those come back from all sides. first, to the late night scene and some revamped campaign ads for romney. here is david letterman on the release of romney's tax returns. >> mitt romney released his 2011 tax returns, and that's not all. take a look. >> last week republican presidential candidate mitt romney released his 2011 income taxes and after numerous requests mitt has also decided to release his tax forms from the last 20 years. >> there you go. >> i'm mitt romney. i approve this message. >> jimmy kimmel took on romney's attempt to convince voters he can empathize with struggling americans in the aftermath of
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those comments on the 47% of americans he said don't even take care of their lives. >> too many americans are struggling to find work in today's economy. too many of those who are working are living paycheck to paycheck. more americans are living in poverty than when president obama took off, and 15 million more are on food stamps. my plan will create 12 million new jobs over the next four years. we shouldn't measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. we should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good paying job. i'm mitt romney, and i approve this message. >> lobster. anyway, now shifting to jobs. how did president obama turn a slip of the tongue regarding his jobs plan into a knock at his opponent? well, here he is in ohio yesterday. >> let me repeat the plan that i have put forward, practical,
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specific five-point plan to grow our middle class, create strong jobs. first thing is i want to see us export more jobs -- export more products. excuse me. i was channeling my opponent there for a second. >> well, that was a quick save. anyway, the obama campaign has continually argued that bain capital, which romney ran as ceo, invested in companies that moved jobs overseas. our last president was absent in tampa talk about a perfect storm. where will "w" be five days before the election? you won't believe this, headlining an alternative investment event in the cayman islands along with sir richard branson. the cayman alternative investment summit is a hub for business people and investors to
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discuss and promote offshore investments, a place where democrats will point out romney a right at home. bush is the keynote speaker on the event's first night, november 1st. what a favor "w" is doing romney here. up next, the republican party bailed on missouri's todd akin after his legitimate rape comments. with akin hanging tough against claire mccaskill, the republicans may be willing to live with akin if it helps them win control of the senate. apparently that's what's going on. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. they can help, but recent research shows... ...nothing transforms schools like investing in advanced teacher education. let's build a strong foundation. let's invest in our teachers so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. for the spender who needs a little help saving.
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i'm page hopkins. here's what is happening. israel prime minister netanyahu said that iran could have enough enriched uranium to build a bomb by next summer. the maker of the islamic film was hauled into court regarding
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whether he violated probation. he's prohibited from using the internet without permission and barred from using aliases. now back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." remember last month after todd akin made this comment? >> it seems to me, first of all, from what i understand from doctors, that's really rare. if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. >> they tried to shut him down. republicans from mitt romney and paul ryan to sarah palin, sean hannity, and rush limbaugh all urged akin to get out of the race after he said that. karl rove's american crossroads super pac pulled their money from him and while talking to
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donors, rove made this, his think being what akin was doing to the party crystal clear. he said we should sink todd akin. if he's found mysteriously murdered don't look for my whereabouts. that's karl. the national republican senate committee also pulled funds from akin's race. its chairman, john cornyn of texas, said last week, just last week, he had a simple answer on their involvement with akin going forward. he told "the hill" newspaper, quote, we're done. well, that was then, this is now. the deadline for akin to remove himself from the ballot has passed, and slowly republicans are rejoining the akin bandwagon, if you can call it that. the national republican senate committee, for example, said yesterday, as with every republican senate candidate, we hope todd akin wins in november, and we will continue to monitor his race closely in the days ahead. so have republicans decided akin isn't as bad as they once thought? bob shrum is a democratic strategist, john feehery is a republican strategist. gentlemen, i have to give a little bit of help there to feehery because this may be his
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hardest test yet. but let's go to you, shrum, because i like the way you punch. akin ain't any better now, is he, than he was right after he said that, politically speaking. your thoughts. >> and he's done more. the republicans were in the midair phase of this flip-flop to say they were going to reconsider when he criticized and attacked claire mccaskill for not being ladylike. they're reconsidering for several reasons. one, romney is fading. two, their prospects of controlling the senate are fading. and, three, they were getting a lot of pressure from the tea party folks, from people like jim demint, from newt gingrich, rick santorum, as if those guys hadn't done enough for the republican party already this year by forcing romney way to the right. but this is a really hard decision politically and practically for republicans to make. first, it's going to cost a lot of money if they go back in. they canceled all the air time. to buy the spots now would cost five or six times more than the money that they already had there in the first place. secondly, it's not politically good for the republican party or
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for mitt romney or for their senate and house candidates to be associated in any way with this guy. they already have a huge gender gap. look, he didn't drop out. the voters are going to drop him in november, and maybe feehery will tell me he dissents from this, and i'm sure he does, but privately a lot of republicans will say this guy can't win. >> the news here today, you referred to how he referred to this -- this is todd akin -- how he referred to his democratic opponent, the incumbent senator claire mccaskill. let's look at this, what he said today and why it may be a problem for him. he said, quote, she, and that was his opponent, was very aggressive at the debate this past week, which was quite different than it was when she ran against jim talent. she had a confidence and was much more ladylike back then. but in the debate on friday, she came out swinging.
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i think that's because she feels threatened. i don't know. sometimes i wonder whether we're too tough, but, you know, this idea that women have to hit their golf ball from the ladies politically, that somehow they have to be ladylike in a tough brawl of a campaign, do you think that's still a nice way to talk, or appropriate way to talk to your opponent politically if they're a female, that they have to be ladylike? does anybody say you have to be a gentleman in politics these days? i'm just asking, john feehery. is this okay? go ahead. >> it would be nice if we were all gentlemen and if they were ladies and all the whole nine yards, but ladies punch just as hard as men in politics. >> shouldn't they? >> of course they should. that's the game. at the end of the day, the
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reason we're talking about this race is claire mccaskill is still in a pretty weak position. i would give her the edge at winning, but i think akin has a very good shot at winning otherwise we wouldn't care this much. to defend the nrsc, they want to put in the best candidate they could, and it was not akin at the time. they wished they would have got him out of there and had someone else in, but now they've got him, they've got to stick with him, and he still has a relatively decent shot of winning because claire mccaskill is still very weak. >> well, let's check on that. let's take a look at the ad they put together. this is an ad that the american bridge, the democratic group, has put out against him. i think it displays the fact
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this guy's problems go well beyond saying women are not to be trusted on charges of rape and things like that. this goes over the whole issues of this guy's vulnerability. i want bob to jump on it and then you respond. let's listen to this ad. >> social security through the years for many, many people has been a terrible investment. it's really a tax is all it is. social security is a tax. >> are you saying for younger people there will be some privatization of it or not? >> well, if it were up to me, yes, i think that that's a good idea. this bill is called the hate crimes bill. this bill increases hatred in america. abortionists, terrorists, privatized hate crimes lead to hate. it's a long list that suggests this guy is not what i would call a mainstream conservative republican even. >> for once i want to second what he said. they obviously wanted a different senate candidate and then after he made the comments -- akin made the comments about legitimate rape, a lot of people, as you said, romney, ryan, corn anyone, the whole republican establishment said, we don't want to support this guy. he should drop out. he can drop out until september
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25th. september 25th passed. things have not been going okay for the gop. people saying that we have to double down and help this guy. look, does he have some chance to win? look, i think it's very small. in the end when the people see all this stuff, they are going to see all of this stuff and how extreme he is, he's going to have a very, very hard time. i also think, by the way, nobody is talking about this. the polls have narrowed substantially. >> quickly, john, how do you justify calling abortion an act of terrorism where it's the woman normally who makes the call to get the procedure done? whatever you think, we'll be arguing about this the rest of our lives. but they call it terrorism. how do you justify that? >> chris, i'm pro life. >> yeah, but would you call it terrorism if a woman -- >> i don't use those terms but i'm pro life. going back to todd akin, he still has a shot. i think claire mccaskill is a
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weak candidate. i wish we had a better candidate but we don't. a lot of conservative groups are going to support akin and missouri is still a conservative state and i think he has a 49.5% chance of winning this thing. >> do you think he should be in the u.s. senate? >> listen, that's for the people of missouri to decide. >> no, do you think he should be in the senate? >> i would have voted for somebody else in the primary. >> sara steelman, probably. nice dodge there, by the way. don dodges the ball, and he should. bob shrum, thank you. let me give you a slew, michele bachmann, there he is, joe walsh, allen west. what a group. they have new reasons to be hopeful. this is "hardball," a place for politics.
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the presidential race is being fought in handful of states and top find out where the real action is, check out the top advertising markets where they are spending the most dollars. number five, right here in washington, d.c., reaching the critical northern suburbs of virginia. number four, tampa, florida, and st. pete. number three, cleveland. number two is orlando, also in florida. the top market this week for ads, madison, wisconsin, one of the great places in the 1960s to be in. we'll be right back. [ female announcer ] you want family dinner to be special.
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is a free online tool that helps you track your spending. so instead of having to deal with a tight budget, you could have a tighter family. ♪ wells fargo. together we'll go far. we're back. most this campaign season is understandably been focused on the presidency. but democrats are beginning to dream. what if? what if they can pick off some of the tea party boogiemen and women who have come to represent the worst of right wing extremism since the tea party revolution of 2010? michele bachmann, joe walsh, steve king, allen west. oh, democrats think, wouldn't it be loverly? with me now, jim graves, running against michele bachmann. and nina malika henderson. stay with us. we're going to show you how we created her. she was our frankenstein's
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monster, you might say. i want you to look at this and tell me how you're going to deal with this person and defeat her. how many people in the congress of the united states do you think are anti-american? you've already suspected barack obama. is he alone? are there others? how many do you suspect of your colleagues as being anti-american? >> what i would say, what i would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. i wish they would. i wish the american media would take a great look at the views of the people in congress and find out, are they pro-america or anti-america? i think people would be -- would love to see an expose like that. >> well, mr. graves, i hate to admit, i shirked on that response but have not conducted a joe mccarthy-style probe in my small role here of the loyalty of the democratic members of congress. what do you make of having an opponent like that? what would you make hay out of that crazy comment? >> krirchris, i'll tell you, it started on your channel and
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show, she keeps going. she keeps going. she'ses actually coming after me. she likes to tread on fear and separation. that's her whole mantra. and i think it's getting old. >> okay. let's take a look at mr. joe walsh in illinois and how he's going after his actual female opponent, an injured war veteran, wounded. let's take a look at how he's going after tammy duckworth. >> understand something about john mccain. his political advisers day after day had to take him and almost throw him against the wall and hit him against the head and say, senator, you have to let people know you served, you have to talk about what you did. he wouldn't -- he didn't want to do it. wouldn't do it. now, i'm running against a woman who, i mean, my god, that's all she talks about. our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it's the last thing in the world they talk about. >> you know, i don't even get -- i've never seen such bad taste in my life. this woman lost her legs in the
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service of our country in combat, nia, and to mock her for that onlying ingcoming up in t i don't know what the new rules are. your thoughts? >> this is one of the reasons he's behind in polls and republicans are privately conceding that he will probably lose this race. he has gotten a bit of a lifeline thrown to him by the congressional committee. they put $450,000 into this race. he's going to be able to run some ads until election day. duckworth has ads out now that she her ride a bike and talk about the fact she'll go to washington and very much fight for her constituents there in that district. but you're right, there are a lot of these below the belt comments that i think some of these tea party folks have made that are now coming back to bite them. i think they've done well for themselves in terms of filling campaign coffers. michele bachmann has $12 million in the bank, allen west about $ $10 million. they're having to run against the words that to some people are inflammatory. >> back to you, jim graves.
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what happened to minnesota, the country of humphrey and mondale and reasonable people. how did it get so far right to think that michele bachmann was the voice of sanity? >> she treads on her base, creates a lot of money, she gets a lot of advertising out there. at the end of the day the people of minnesota understands she's not representing them. they understand she doesn't speak the truth. it's coming around to roost. she's going to lose this election because she just can't come up with anything that really makes any sense to the people. she doesn't resonate with the folks. it's getting old. she ran for president. she did 15 debates. she won't do one with me. until after the election. she's afraid of the truth. she's running. and i think it's catching up with her, chris. >> okay. we made her name here. anyway, thank you very much, jim graves running against michele bachmann. nia-malika henderson of "washington post." when we return, let me finish with the new voter photo i.d. law in pennsylvania and how it's keeping my favorite teacher's wife from voting. ♪
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let me finish tonight with the real life consequence of this bad voter photo law in pennsylvania. my high school english teacher, general trembly, has been caring for his wife these recent years. she suffered a serious stroke and has been unable to get out and about. can no longer drive a car and therefore has no driver's license. unable to travel, she has no up
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to date passport. she's fully alert and alive intellectually. thanks to her husband she keeps up with the news. she holds the newspapers up for her to read. she's very eager to vote this year. therein lies the r problem. the new problem, the pennsylvania law pushed through by republicans in the legislature requires to get an ansonty ballot, needed in this case, you need to produce a government-issued photo i.d. think about the obstacles. mr. trembly would have to take his wife to the penndot headquarters, his wife being a stroke victim, to get the i.d. law the new law requires. we have no idea if this is the kind of person the gop lawmakers in harrisburg were out to keep from voting. we know predicament created for her, a consequence of their slick move in the words of a top republican in pennsylvania, in the legislature, to deliver the common wealth's electoral votes to romney. i would think this case is a good example of why justice requires action by the courts to stop this unfair new law from taking effect barely a month
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from now. what i didn't say is jerry trembly is the greatest teacher i ever had, anyone ever had. if he's as good a caregiver as he was a teacher, god's in his heaven, all's right with the world. this law needs to be changed now so his wife can cast her ballot like every other registered pennsylvania voter. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "the ed show" with ed schultz starts rite now. good evening, americans. and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. 40 days until the 2012 election. six days until the first presidential debate. 27 states allow americans to vote early. including two who started today. early signs show mitt romney has far worse problems than the polls. this is "the ed show." let's get to work. seems like we've been waiting for this day for a long time. >> obama voters showed up in full force today in iowa. the election has begun in the first swing state with early voting. and the

Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC September 27, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 8, Obama 8, Claire Mccaskill 7, Michele Bachmann 7, Pennsylvania 7, John 6, Washington 4, Sean Hannity 4, Dick Morris 4, Schwab 4, Massachusetts 4, Allen West 3, Missouri 3, Joe Walsh 3, Mitt Romney 3, Ron 3, Florida 3, Ron Allen 3, Nbc 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2
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